In the August Issue:
By Matt Sullivan / RCFP
After four years, rumors swell in London that the British Government had a hand in the terrorist attacks of 7/7. Three Tube stations and a bus were struck with bombs that morning.
The government’s official story, that the attacks were staged by four British Muslims, inspired by al Qaeda but unaffiliated with any specific group is being rejected by growing numbers of Brits.
The official story is weak: four British Muslims — Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30, Shehzad Tanweer, 22, Jermaine Lindsay, 19, and Hasib Hussain, 18 — blew themselves up using explosives cooked up in their bath tub, killing 56 and injuring 700 on three Tube trains and a double-decker bus.
They had traveled on a mainline train from Luton into King’s Cross Thameslink Station in London, each carrying a heavy backpack of explosives.
At least that’s the version of events as presented by a high-level Parliamentary inquiry and a government report, which were published in May 2006, ten months after the events.
One immediate problem was that the accused bombers just didn’t seem to be the type.
They were family men, one a teacher, another played cricket the night before; not the actions a fundamentalist jihadist bent on suicide the following day. After viewing the Closed Circuit videos of the men, the police said they looked like “happy hikers”, laughing and joking and carrying heavy bags.
London Anti-Terrorist Police admitted that the bombers “did not fit the preconceived terrorist profile.”
They parked a rental car outside the train station and paid to park for seven days, then purchased round-trip tickets to London. The suspects were seen to be arguing with cashiers, walking in and out of shops, including McDonalds, and “bumping into people” in the minutes before the blasts — hardly the behavior of people who are in the final crucial moments of planning a terror attack in which they will be killed, and who wish to go unnoticed.
“I’ve seen the CCTV footage of these people. They do not appear to be on their way to commit any crime at all,” a London Metropolitan Police representative said.
“The roundtrip tickets, the fact that one of them spent a lot recently repairing his car and one of them had a family and was the teacher of the disabled and underprivileged children, it doesn’t ring right,” said Paul Beaver, a security and defense expert in London with close police contacts. “If you had that much commitment, how are you going to take your life? It’s happened in Palestine, but these people were brought up in the UK.” (Watson, Prison Planet)
Almost immediately after release of the official report, people noticed that there were problems with the official time-line as well.
The official story puts the bombers on the 7:40am train from Luton, which would have arrived at King’s Cross in good time for them to board the Tube trains.
But, the 7:40am train never ran that morning. It was cancelled.
The Government has since corrected this information — but only after the error was raised by survivors. The revised story now is that the bombers actually caught an earlier train, the 7:25am from Luton, for the 35-minute journey to King’s Cross. It was due to arrive in the capital at 8am.
But records show this train ran 23 minutes late because of problems with the overhead line which disrupted most of the service between Luton to King’s Cross that morning. It arrived in London at 8:23am, according to station officials.
Just as problematic is the official scenario for the bombers’ supposed arrival at King’s Cross. While it takes seven minutes to walk from the Thameslink line station to the main King’s Cross station, the Police say the four men were seen on the main King’s Cross concourse at 8:26am after getting off the Luton train at 8:23am. Yet they have not released any CCTV photos placing the men there, nor are there any eyewitnesses who remember four men running between stations at triple speed and carrying large heavy backpacks.
Another problem with the revised timeline is that it is contradicted by an already released security camera frame which purports to show the bombers entering the Luton station at 7:22, which would give them only three minutes to walk up the stairs at Luton, buy their £22 round-trip tickets and get to the platform, which was already packed with commuters because of the earlier travel disruptions.
This still CCTV photo of the four bombers arriving at the station in Luton is the only one of the four men together on July 7. But this officially released still has serious problems. It appears to be a fake, and a crudely done one at that.
Another problem for the official story is that there are no eyewitnesses who can place the individuals — supposedly carrying large and heavy backpacks filled with homemade explosives — on the trains. In fact some of the surviving witnesses closest to the explosions remember there being no one and no back packs in the location of the explosions.
Bruce Lait, a victim of the Aldgate Station bombing, described to the Cambridge Evening News how he and his partner were sitting nearest to the bomb when it detonated. As they made their way out, a policeman pointed out where the bomb had been. “The policeman said ‘mind that hole, that’s where the bomb was’. The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train. They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don’t remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag,” he said.
Photos recently released seem to verify Lait’s statement that the explosion came from under the floorboards of the train.
Victims and their families, like the 9/11 victim’s families in the US are not pleased with the inconsistencies and basic mistakes in the official account and their explanation. The Government has so far refused to re-open the investigation and has stood by the increasingly discredited account. This has only fueled demand for books, DVDs and internet sites pointing out the glaring deficiencies of the official story.
Now even the Assistant Commissioner for Special Operations at the time of the bombings, Andy Hayman, has called for an independent public inquiry. In his new book The Terrorist Hunters, Mr. Hayman writes: “Incidents of less gravity have attracted the status of a public inquiry — train crashes, a death in custody, and even other terrorist attacks. How can there not be a full, independent public inquiry into the deaths of 52 commuters on London’s transport system? …There has been no overview, no pulling together of each strand of review, no one can be sure if key issues have been missed.”
That’s putting it mildly.
Just to be clear, Hayman is not suggesting the government is behind the attacks. His criticisms center on what he contends are “intelligence failures” on the part of MI5 because, as he points out in his book, MI5 was well aware of and had been tracking Mohammad Sidique Khan for some time.
Frustrated by the lack of response to the public criticism of the 7/7 report, families of the victims and survivors are taking High Court action over the government’s refusal to grant an independent inquiry.
Even more suspicious is the revelation, made on the day of the events by Peter Power, a former Scotland Yard anti-terror expert, that they were conducting security drills on 7/7 that simulated the exact type of attack in the exact stations at the exact time of the actual events. “…At half-past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise…based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning”.
This is again reminiscent of the 9/11 events in the US where 15 or more drills and military exercises, some simulating hijackings, some even simulating planes crashing into buildings, were being conducted at the same time as the actual 9/11 attacks.
Another weakness of the official story is that the devastating explosions are claimed to have come from crude home-made explosives the bombers are supposed to have made in their bath tub, no less. Initial assessments of experts at the scene of the explosions were that high grade military explosives were used. Only later was the story changed to have the bombers cooking up their own home-made bombs.
Clifford Todd of the Forensic Explosives Laboratory at Fort Halsted in Kent has testified that the 7/7 bombs were made with a mixture of (don’t laugh) hair peroxide, powdered masala spice and ground black pepper. However, according to his testimony on 2 May 2008, no pepper residue was detected at any of the four bomb sites.
Much of the controversy recently has centered on a low-budget home made documentary called “Ripple Effect” that points out many of the problems with the official story.
"Ripple Effect" is having an effect. The popularity of this video, similar to the run-away success of the Loose Change video in the US, has forced the government to respond. The TV show “Conspiracy Files” on BBC2 has responded with a hit-piece which attempts to “debunk” the claims made in "Ripple Effect", but such efforts may be only adding fuel to the fire. Skepticism in Britain of the official story continues to grow.
As you might imagine, it is among London’s Moslem community that skepticism of the government’s story is greatest.
The chairman of Birmingham’s Central Mosque, Dr. Mohammad Naseem, says in the BBC2 documentary: “We do not accept the government version of July 7, 2005. The “Ripple Effect” video is more convincing than the official statements.”
Mr. Naseem has made 2,000 copies of “Ripple Effect” for members of his mosque. Even before the contentious video came out, one in four British Muslims thought the Government or the Secret Services were responsible for the 7/7 atrocities. Now the number of doubters is growing.
At Friday prayers recently, Dr. Naseem asked the congregation to raise their hands if they did not accept the government version of events. Nearly the entire gathering of 150 men and boys did so. (Sue Ried, Daily Mail)
Unable to counter “Ripple Effect” with propaganda, the government has resorted to force. The government is going after the film’s creator, 60-year-old Yorkshireman Anthony John Hill who lives in Kells, County Meath, Ireland. He has been arrested and is currently fighting extradition to Britan. He is charged with “perverting the course of justice” for sending copies of his video to jury members in a terrorist case.
England has no First Amendment.